Yesterday there was a post about a parts bag that was double stamped saying made in China and made in Canada on the same bag. Now if anyone is purposely trying to hide the country of origin a secret or covering up a lie then yes that is not good at all. This really makes me wonder though as to what matters the most to us? I really want to know that regardless of where the parts come from, that they will be coming and if I buy a ten year old Saab, that I will be able to get parts and easily.
I think for most, this is what is of the most importance to us and the one thing we want to see secured or fixed. Parts availability is the most crucial thing we want to hear as being taken care of because it can potentially affect our every day driving.
I read this on Jalopnik today:
My 1998 Saab 900 was my first car and has been the only car I’ve ever owned. I got it five and a half years ago with 91,000 miles on it and it was a well-used example. Sure, I’ve had the alternator, radiator and other bits replaced, but it’s never left me stranded.
But now, 14 years old with 155,000 miles, it’s starting to give me grief. The A/C compressor has long been dead, and that wouldn’t bother me so much had it not been for the record heat in Southern California this week. (I have the right to complain about 100 degree-plus heat in October!)
More telling though is that this is a Saab, a company that’s now a parts distribution company rather than an automaker. Except they haven’t been that great at delivering parts.
The last line here is what I find concerning and I believe to be one of the biggest PR nightmares for Saab Parts right now. “They haven’t been that great at delivering parts” is a statement we have heard or experienced, but my question is what are they doing to change this?
Well, let’s look at what has happened so far. As recently as this past week we read on here that Saab Parts had secured Saab Automobile AB’s subsidiaries in Spain and Italy and before that was North America and the UK. They also speak of further expanding operations internationally in the near future.
Yesterday on Just Auto I read another great post by Simon Warburton about where they may be looking next. Most likely the article states, France and Germany by years end.
“We are looking into other Saab main markets and we look to have at least the 10-12 biggest Saab markets under our own control,” Saab Automobile Parts CEO, Lennart Stahl
This to me is reassuring to know that they are taking the right steps to ensure that Saab Parts is controlled directly by one group and to ensure the proper quality in all markets. Where the parts come from to me is of little concern as long as they are all of Saab quality that we have come to expect. It makes sense for Saab Parts to want to control all Saab Parts when you consider that there are 1.5 million Saabs around the world that will all need parts or service.
Every step that Saab Parts takes to securing a parts supply chain and company is a step in making your vehicle ownership more enjoyable and affordable, we all remember what happened with key fob prices and availability when the bankruptcy first hit.
And when in the Jalopnik post you have someone who says:
So I have to wonder, when is it truly time to throw in the towel and find a new daily driver?
Trouble is, when everything is working right and I’m not bothered about the paint or the broken air con, I happen to like my car a lot. I just moved a bed, dresser and lamp in it a couple weeks ago. Honestly, I can’t think of another car on the market today that meets my needs the way my Saab does.
It is nice to see that the needed steps are being taken to ensure that people like him and you won’t have to make these kinds of decisions and later regret them.
I am not in any way disregarding or trying to say that mis-labeled parts is not an issue but I will say that if parts in fact do come from China in the future as one of many suppliers, I will not be upset by that. I truly think that the steps needed to ensure you will have parts available for your Saab are being taken and I am sure that new supplier relations as well as the old will be formed or restored.